Gordon spends a good chunk of his time traveling to schools and libraries all around the world, working with groups of students on reading and writing. To date he has visited forty-six states, nine Canadian provinces, and eleven countries in Europe and Asia.
His fast and entertaining presentation begins with how he wrote his first novel when he was only twelve -- a four-month-long seventh grade language arts assignment produced This Cant Be Happening At Macdonald Hall, which was published by Scholastic a year and a half later, when Gordon was fourteen. He also talks about brainstorming, developing characters, dialogue, rewriting and revision, and of course his trademark humor. Now, more than 30 years after that 7th grade project, he has over 75 books to his credit, including the Island trilogy, No More Dead Dogs, and The Monday Night Football Club novels, which inspired the Disney Channel TV series The Jersey.
Is this program appropriate for all ages?
Gordon speaks to all ages, although his books are targeted at second through eighth graders and younger high school students.
How many times will Gordon speak per day?
How long are the presentations?
Plan on forty-five minutes to an hour, depending on how extensive a question and answer period you have in mind. With grades 1-2, a shorter half-hour time slot is recommended, but Gordon can tailor his presentation to any schedule.
How large can the groups be?
No maximum. You know your kids best, and you know the space you plan to put them in. Larger groups are no problem.
What about writing workshops?
Gordon conducts an adventure writing workshop, but only with small groups (twenty-five, max.)
How can we purchase books for the visit?
Its always best to go with a local store or distributor, but books can also be ordered at a discount directly from his publishers, Scholastic 1-800-SCHOLASTIC, and Hyperion (c/o Harper Collins) 1-800-242-7737.
In Canada, Scholastic Canada can be contacted at 1-800-268-3848 for both the Scholastic titles and those published by Hyperion in the United States.
Does Gordon autograph books?
How can we prepare our students for the visit?
One word: READING. The more familiar the students are with Gordons books, the better prepared they will be. Other ideas to try: Contests that are very visible in the school to build up the anticipation -- door decorating, hall decorating, poster contests, etc.
Are there certain books we can concentrate on with students who are at the younger end of the readership spectrum for Gordons work? How about the older ones?
Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire is a great book to try with grades 1-2. For older kids, Son of the Mob, Jake Reinvented, Losing Joe's Place and Son of the Mob: The Hollywood Hustle or Born to Rock work very well.